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PM Sheikh Hasina leaves for Johannesburg to attend 15th BRICS Summit

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday left here for Johannesburg to attend 15th BRICS Summit to be held on August 22-25 at the invitation of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“A regular flight of the Emirates Airlines carrying the prime minister and her entourage members, took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at 10:30am today,” Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told BSS.

The flight is scheduled to land at the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg at 8:50pm (local time) after making over one hour stopover at the Dubai International Airport in UAE.

South Africa is hosting the historic 15th Summit of BRICS nations –- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

It will be the first BRICS Summit to be hosted in person since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global restrictions.

President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to attend the summit.

On August 23, the prime minister is expected to deliver a speech as the chief guest at the “Bangladesh Trade and Business Summit”, jointly organized by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA).

Later, she will attend the “Bangladesh Envoys Conference” organized by Bangladesh ambassadors stationed in African countries.

In the afternoon, she is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President XI Jinping at the Hotel Hilton Sandton.

At the evening, the prime minister will join a cultural programme and “State Banquet” hosted by the current chair of BRICS and the South African president.

On 24 August, she will deliver a speech on behalf of Bangladesh as a member of the “New Development Bank of BRICS” – Friends of BRICS Leaders Dialogue (BRICS-Africa Outreach and the BRICS Plus Dialogues) comprising representatives from 70 countries.

The premier will also hold several bilateral meetings on the sideline of the BRICS summit.

At the evening, she will meet the Bangladeshi expatriate community living in South Africa.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told a news briefing on Sunday that so far nearly 22 countries have shown interest in becoming members of BRICS and the five original members are trying to reach consensus among them to take new members.

“We don’t know when the new members will join,” he added.

The prime minister is scheduled to leave Johannesburg for Dhaka on August 26 and expected to arrive home in the morning of August 27 after a brief stopover at the Dubai International Airport.